It was about this time last year that I first contributed to these boards. I'm afraid my stay last year was brief and I lost touch with this forum and many other things in my life. I was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis and it's most definitely changed my life!
I started on Sulfasalazine shortly after posting here for the first time and have since progressed to taking 6 a day. They never worked for me. I never had any side effects but neither did they dull the pain and help in any way that I noticed.
After getting to 6 tablets with no improvement, my rheumy put me on an increasing dose of methotrexate in addition to the Sulph. Funnily enough, these increased up to the magic number of 6 per week eventually! Again, not much help until I actually got to 6. Up until then I was on a daily cocktail of Naproxin, Paracetamol and Codeine Phosphate to cope with the pain. I'm glad to say that now (fingers crossed) I'm pain-killer free!! However, I'm not pain free. A definite step in the right direction though.
My moods have been erratic through the whole process. I've kept working offshore luckily but sometimes getting in to those awful flight suits has been a struggle. I'm lucky that I'm mainly control room based when I actually get to work. This has meant that the money is still coming in. I imagine if I'd had a more physically demanding job, I wouldn't be doing it any more! I've gone through many low points over the last year and it has definitely put a strain on my relationship. My wife is an angel though and has been as understanding as anyone possible could be in this situation. My baby daughter who had just appeared before I was posting last year is now 18 months old and quite the handful!! One of my many regrets during this is that I'm unable to get down to her level and play on the floor.
My main issues are with my right foot, right knee, both elbows and shoulders. I've been trying to stay as active as I can with gentle walking and cycling. I want to get running and mountain biking but my joints aren't quite there yet.
I wanted to come here today and give an update as many of you were so helpful last time I was here. I'm sorry I've not been around but work and a crazy 18 month old whirlwind seem to take up all my time.
Life is ok at the moment and I'm taking each day as it comes. One thing I have noticed is that my mood seems to affect my pain levels. When I'm happy I definitely feel less pain. That's where I'm trying to stay. I'm not sure if I'll ever be pain free - maybe someone on here can tell me just how effective these drugs can actually be? I've not seen my rheumy this year as I live in a rural community and he only visits once in a while. I've been regularly visiting my GP for help though. My wife and I are keen to have another baby so I need to see the rheumy for some advice soon. I know we shouldn't conceive while I'm on methotrexate so I want to know what my options are. I don't relish the idea of spending a long time in pain but if that's what it takes, it'll be worth it in the end.
Anyhoo, this post seems to have waffled quite a bit as I'm actually at work on night shift and my concentration is split between this and work. Hope I've not bored anyone.